Finding Your Own Voice

Monday Morning Match is a quick post – maybe a quote, inspirational story or idea – intended to spark some motivation inside each of you so your week gets off to a fantastic start on Monday morning.

With the exception of actors or actresses, there aren’t many people who will tell you they like using scripts. People hate to sound like they are just regurgitating someone else’s words. As consumers, we all hate when we get some telemarketer reading a script off a page while they  interrupt our lives.

Everything is a Script

I’d be willing to bet a day’s pay that most people reading this could sing “Happy Birthday” on demand. I’m guessing you could easily repeat the Pledge of Allegiance or sing “The Star Spangled Banner”. Catholics can recite the Lord’s Prayer without much hesitation and cast members on Saturday Night Live fight hard to be the one who gets to scream “Live from New York…It’s SATURDAY NIGHT!”

Seriously… how many times have we heard…

“Welcome to McDonald’s, can I take your order?”

I have found that the best salespeople use scripts and dialogues every day, in every situation and doing so creates confidence and consistency from client to client. The key is rarely does it ever sound like a script because they have internalized the words and made them sound like their own.

Poor Milli Vanilli

(Click here to see the video)

It was on this date in 1990 that the pop band Milli Vanilli were stripped of their Grammy Award for Best New Artist when it was determined that they were not the actual singers on their award-winning album “Girl You Know It’ s True.”

As it turned out, success turned to infamy as quickly as you could say “lip-sync.”

After cranking out three #1 hits (and two other Top 5 singles), the duo found themselves on the wrong end of a bad script. (And after watching that video, does it really surprise you that they were lip synching?

Don’t Memorize. Internalize.

That is the exact instructions I always share with my students as we discuss scripts, dialogues and “words that work” in the real estate industry. I firmly believe that when you know what to say you develop more competence (i.e. “what to talk about”), gain more confidence (i.e. “why you say it”) and do it more consistently (i.e “when to talk”).

All of these – competence, confidence and consistency – lead people to trust you more.

Wouldn’t you agree that today’s consumer is smarter today than they were five years ago? Five months ago? Five days ago?

They know when someone is “being themselves” instead of when they are “reading from a script.” They also know if someone is just following the party line in order to gain business…or votes (are any politicians coming to mind right now?).

Let’s be honest. People today know when you are trying to bullshit them.

Memorized and regurgitated scripts come across as bullshit. Internalized and personalized scripts are the difference between being “just another Realtor” and being someone’s “trusted advisor.”

Your Unique Voice

I don’t believe that you can successfully delegate your social media voice to someone else and have them post to your Facebook, Twitter or any social media site without people realizing it’s not you who is “talking.” 

I certainly hope that  Carp’s Corner readers who have been loyal followers of the blog for the last few years would know if I suddenly consigned out authorship of these posts to the lowest bidder and let someone else tell my story.

Todd Henry, author of the excellent blog The Accidental Creative, has a tagline that say “Cover bands don’t change the world.” Henry goes on to challenge his blog readers and podcast listeners that “you have to find your own unique voice.” 

I learned from some of the best in the real estate business. I have listened to instructors like David KnoxChris Leader, Kim Daugherty, John Hamilton, Jackie Leavenworth and Alec Hagerty. I say things in the course of business that they said or taught in their classes. I know I have added dialogues that I learned from Brian Copeland, Chris Smith, Michael McClure and Matthew Ferrara and those words came out of my mouth and helped me deliver my message to the intended recipient.

No matter how much I have learned from these people, I know that I am not them. I need to say the things they taught me in the way my listener, audience or client is expecting to hear it from me.

I can’t just lip sync and think everything will be okay.

It’s Karaoke Time

We have a short work week with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us.

We all need to figure out ways to build relationships, solve problems and have fun.

We just need to do it in ways that no one else can say, “Hey! That’s what I said!





Photo Credits: Derek Gavey via Creative Commons

3 Responses to Finding Your Own Voice
  1. Doug Francis
    November 19, 2012 | 3:08 pm

    Glad that you didn’t go with the lowest bidder. Is there still time to submit a bid?

  2. Coach Jackie Leavenworth
    November 19, 2012 | 3:59 pm

    GREAT post Sean! This is so true. Authenticity is the ticket to success and that only comes with your own voice. “Canned” scripts do not work, but “planned” scripts that you truly believe in and that are said with true care for the client do work. Thank you for your wisdom.

  3. Dava Behrens
    November 19, 2012 | 5:31 pm

    Great Post. Horrible video…